Sponsored links

Valid XHTML 1.0!
Valid CSS!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Special Edition Using Microsoft CRM
Publisher: Que
Authors: Laura Brown, John Gravely
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Book needed more beta testing

If you are looking at Microsoft CRM, this book does give a decent overview of some portions of the product. But in areas where additional assistance could really be beneficial (like customizing the application to work with other web apps), it is often much too brief. It does a very poor job of explaining detailed technical configuration tasks, settling instead for common sense advice about working witht users to make sure they accept the solution. A third of the chapters adress just general CRM topics, not anything specific to the Microsoft product.
At its best, the book will point out some areas where Microsoft dropped the ball, such as no ability to validate state abbreviations. But there are too few of these warnings and they are scattered sporadically about the book making it of limited use in evaluating the product.
At its worst, the book has a large number of printing errors that the most basic proofreading effort should have caught. Many diagrams are missing or do not appear with the correct caption. This makes some portions of the book very difficult to comprehend.
In short, this book has been of some value to me because it has improved my understanding of this product. But this book falls far short of being a definitive guide to the software and the sloppy mistakes are irritating.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ActionScript Cookbook
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Joey Lott
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best!

I've been using Joey Lott's Actionscript Cookbook for the past two weeks and find it to be a great asset for my Flash Actionscript development.
I say 'using', because the cookbook format is intended to be more than a reference (see Actionscript for Flash MX). This book and the accompanying code samples have made it possible for me to move way ahead in my development efforts. The instruction for the code development, coupled with the code samples allows you to start cooking up your own Actionscript code to solve problems for your development requirements.
The range of problem solving covered in the ASCB is perfect, in that it covers most of the range of Actionscript, including managing XML files, Flash Remoting, FlashComm, Shared Objects and Components. Then Joey moves into the sample applications which you can dissect to really get a deeper understanding of what Flash MX is all about.
I've found the writing to be very accessible and it includes important tips on thinking about the way you write your code for re-usability, documentation and mapping out your project strategy.
In summary, I've put about 20% of this book to use and feel sure that it will be sitting next to my keyboard for the next six months until it's 70-80%. I own about four Flash/Studio MX books and wish they were all written like this.
What I might change if I were re-writing it. Skip the 'Basics' chapter at the beginning, although it is well written and many might find it useful, I didn't buy the cookbook for the basics. Second, it would be great to see a chapter on how the typical AS project lead organizes their code, works with remote servers, CVS and tips for creating optimum effeciency by doing x,y and z.
This book is not intended for beginners, but could be used that way if you were willing to dive in and understand Actionscript by dissection. I really think this is a great and unique resource.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Authors: Al Ries, Laura Ries
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Hot Air, Brouhaha, and Other Polite Euphemisms

Let me begin by saying I completely concur with the other readers who trashed this book. It is a total time-waster, a plate of rhetorical tripe, as are the reviews of those who raved about the book (many obviously paid off to write a nice, tidy review). Most of the 'arguments' in this book could be overturned by your average teenager, and most of the 'laws' are reformulations of the first 'law' cursorily outlined in the first chapter. And just so you don't think I'm some skeptical quack, I happen to work for a large branding consultancy.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Using SANs and NAS
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: W. Curtis Preston
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good terminology book

This book very well covers its objective of orienting one with SAN and NAS market and its major differences. It's incorporating most key terminology in Storage network and related issues in concise manner. Though more detail is not expected from this small size book, it would be good to have more technical information then abstract one.
This book is good for quick introduction to NAS and SAN market but can't be used as bible of either field.